Do you want to learn the basics of pixel pitch and resolution and why they matter, but not sure where to start? Check out our Ticker Learning Center. It is a great place to educate yourself on the fundamentals of Ticker technology.
When evaluating a LED Ticker display it is important to understand the terminology for resolution and pixel pitch. These terms frequently get interchanged and mixed up.
A simplified definition of resolution is the total number of pixels, or the matrix size. Here is how Wikipeida defines resolution. The resolution is normally provided with the horizontal number of pixels followed by the vertical number of pixels. So in the example below the resolution is 24 x 16
The LED pixel pitch is the spacing or distance between each of the pixels. For example below are 2 matrixes each with a resolution of 16×24 but demonstrating the difference from a .25″ to a .3″ pixel pitch. Simply put spacing the LEDs out further so the same resolution takes up more physical space. The pixel pitch combined with the resolution height is what gives you the maximum character height. The example on the left would generate a 6 inch character (.25″ x 24 pixels) while the example on the right creates a 7.2 inch character (.3″ x 24 pixels).
More resolution is usually a good thing. The difference from 16 pixels in height compared to 24 pixels in height is what allows you to make more detailed logos. Which LED ticker pixel pitch is better? It depends on your environment. If your viewers are close to the ticker display you may opt for the smaller pixel pitch so the image looks more clear when viewing within 10 feet of the display. If you are placing your ticker up higher on the wall and are looking for greater readability at a distance the larger pixel pitch is better to create a larger character viewable at a greater distance.
Specifying your Ticker
Not properly defining the pixel pitch and resolution is a common mistake. Just because two displays have similar physical dimensions, that doesn’t mean they are of equal quality if one is using lower resolution.
Most Tickers are built using LEDs on .3 inch (7.62mm) center to center spacing. That means there are 40 pixels for each 1 foot of length. Based on that pixel spacing, if you want to specify a 20 foot long ticker, you would define a resolution of 800 pixels wide by the appropriate height. For height you can choose between 16 pixels (4.8″ character), 24 pixels (7.2″ character), or 32 pixels (9.6″ character).
If you are interested in showing logos on your Ticker, we strongly suggest the 24 pixel or 32 pixel heights to give you enough resolution to properly show graphics. While you can show some logos on 16 pixel height, the limited resolution makes it difficult to show enough detail. The following photo shows all 3 heights together so you can see the difference:
If you need help writing a ticker specification – check out these LED Ticker Specification Guidelines.